Seven’s tennis aces competition on massive TV ratings night

If Bernard Tomic’s I’m a Celebrity jaunt is an emphatic bid to re-jig his public image among Aussie viewers, he should’ve stuck to the tennis court for maximum exposure.

Seven cleaned up eyeballs with its n Open final coverage, on a massive television night that also included Nine’s one-day cricket, the premiere of Ten’s I’m a Celebrity and Lisa Wilkinson’s ballyhooed debut on The Project.

Roger Federer’s five-set win over Marin Cilic topped the ratings, earning Seven 1.73 million viewers across the five main capital cities.

Bernard Tomic on Ten’s I’m a Celebrity. The show had a strong premiere on Sunday. Photo: Ten

Despite the strong numbers, it was actually a dip on last year’s historic final between Federer and Rafael Nadal, which drew 2.8 million viewers for Seven; their biggest audience for the match in over a decade.

Although pipped by the tennis, it was a strong opening for Ten’s I’m a Celebrity, with 1.27 million viewers catching the premiere episode.

The show’s lacklustre cast may have failed to deliver on rumoured big-names including Fran Drescher and Jimmy Barnes, but Anthony Mundine’s controversial debut on Monday night should sustain interest.

Nine’s fifth one-day cricket game between and England earned 969,000 and 943,000 viewers respectively across its two sessions, just beating Ten’s new US action drama Seal Team, which got 763,000 viewers; bumped by I’m a Celebrity’s numbers.

Understandably, Lisa Wilkinson’s much-hyped debut on The Sunday Project was overshadowed by the busy competition (perhaps for the best), pulling in just 583,000 viewers during its second-half peak.

While the ratings surveys for 2018 don’t officially begin until early February, the commercial networks are already looking to get the jump on their rivals in a busy season.

Monday night’s viewing will prove a similar dogfight, with Seven and Nine reality shows My Kitchen Rules and Married at First Sight set to make their season premieres opposite Ten’s I’m a Celebrity.

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